Japanese Culture

GEISHA

ARE GEISHA PROSTITUTES?

There has long been a misunderstanding in western society that Geisha are prostitutes. There are two main reasons for these misconceptions:

After world war II when Japan was occupied by USA and Australian soldiers many Japanese prostitutes referred to themselves as Geisha. This was probably done to make them seem more exotic to the soldiers who would have not known the difference.

In the past right to take the virginity of a Geisha (an event called a mizuage) was sold by the Geisha house. This right was sold many years earlier when a Geisha had just started as Maiko (a trainee Geisha). In reality this was more the sponsorship for all the Maiko training which was very expensive. Only a very wealth man could afford to pay for this right.  After the mizuage, the Geisha were not obliged to have sex with any customers, even the men who paid dearly for their virginity.

Geisha Picture
Trainee Geisha (Maiko) Kyoto Japan by Michael Reeve

 

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